OTL301 Post 1 Teaching Getting Started

OTL 301 Post 1 Teaching

To begin, think about an example of an effective practice you have experienced with regard to online learning, either as a learner or a facilitator. You may want to jot down notes, use a journal, or draw a concept map to describe the story of your experience with this example of good practice. Feel free also to use any of the tools that we have used in previous courses.

As a student I have seen the cognitive presence modeled in online learning through the Criminology course I took with the Justice Institute of B.C. (JIBC). I was a student in this course. As a student in this course I found the online learning process supportive and engaging. In order to complete the course we had to do weekly readings and post online comments in a live chat environment commenting on the reading materials. There was a weekly requirement of 2-3 posts and a requirement to reply to posts. We also had to interview a parole officer and post our findings. What I found effective was the requirement that we post comments that would be shared in the online forum. The technology was agreeable to work with and the  teacher was able to keep up with the grading. As a student, I found I had to keep on top of the course, make sure my submissions went through to be graded, and generally I had to be self motivated. There were times that online postings were misinterpreted leading to conflict between students in the chat forum. The teacher had to respond to all of our postings and sometimes he was unable to keep up with the submissions, however in the end did a good job of grading and providing feedback. While the teacher attempted to engage students there were problems with the course which may have been due to the lack of resources provided to the teacher. Some of the online approaches used were effective however some were not.  I found the process somewhat alienating because there was no face-to-face engagement however, I learned a lot from reading my fellow students’ posts.  What would I do to improve on this experience? As a teacher, I would hold office hours by telephone whereby students could call the teacher to engage with them one on one. This would have allowed me to connect with my teacher in the JCIB course. In the JCIB course there was no video engagement between the teacher and student. Instructional teaching videos could have enhanced the course. While we had to engage with the material and respond online to questions on a weekly basis, this teaching format was not enough. In conclusion, I think there are ways to enhance an online course to motivate students to engage and improve on the JCIB experience.

Now, relate this example to other experiences you have had. You can use some of the following sentence starters to help you:

  • This reminds me of when I utilized a chat discussion in my course and students started attacking each other.
  • I remember when I entered preliminary grades in gradebook (Moodle) and thought I had hidden them from students however they could see them.
  • This situation is just like the time in which I had students write a multiple choice exam in Moodle and some of the questions were not formatted properly.
  • It makes me feel that technology is sometimes unreliable.
  • This compares to the time that my exams were not sent to the printer in time for an exam.
  • This is different from in-class teaching where there is less reliance on technology.

Now consider your example again and answer the following questions:

  • Why was this an effective practice for you?

What I found effective was the requirement that we post comments that would be shared in the online forum. The technology was agreeable to work with and the  teacher was able to keep up with the grading.

  • What are some of the key ingredients that underlie the experience you had?
  • Clear guidelines and a relationship between goals and outcomes
  • Experiential learning – interview with Criminal Justice personnel.
  • Discussion and communication in an online platform
  • Interesting reading assignments which require critical thinking.
  • Weekly questions which were to be answered in an online chat room environment.
  • Engagement with other students and the professor.

 

  • If you could do it over again, what would you change to improve your experience?

As a teacher, I would hold office hours by telephone whereby students could call the teacher to engage with them one on one. This would have allowed me to connect with my teacher in the JCIB course. In the JCIB course there was no video engagement between the teacher and student. Instructional teaching videos could have enhanced the course. While we had to engage with the material and respond online to questions on a weekly basis, this teaching format was not enough. In conclusion, I think there are ways to enhance an online course to motivate students to engage and improve on the JCIB experience.

Ellen Faulkner

October 8, 2018